Friday, April 29, 2011

 

Meet the Original Duke of Cambridge

I've often used a quotation by 'The Duke of Cambridge without really knowing who he was. Quotation? ‘The time for change is when it can be no longer resisted’ Useful quote for someone teaching/writing history or politics as you might imagine. So I was led to look the guy up when I discovered Prince William is to known henceforward by the same name. And I came up with the well upholstered gent you see on your left.

Apart from being bald and in the military, William seems to have little in common with his German forebear. This little extract from the Wikipedia profile gives a taste of the man plus a version of his famous quotation:

The Duke of Cambridge served as commander-in-chief for 39 years.[3] Although he was deeply concerned about the welfare of soldiers, he earned a reputation for being resistant to doctrinal change and for making promotions based upon an officer's social standing, rather than his merit. Under his command, the British Army became a moribund and stagnant institution, lagging far behind its continental counterparts. In the late 19th century, whereas 50 per cent of all military literature was written in Germany and 25 per cent in France, just one per cent came from Britain. It is said that he rebuked one of his more intelligent subordinates with the words: "Brains? I don't believe in brains! You haven't any, I know, Sir!" He was equally forthright on his reluctance to adopt change: "There is a time for everything, and the time for change is when you can no longer help it."

One sincerely hopes the present prince does not emulate his ancestor but there is one aspect which might worry Kate and interest the tabs: the portly duke fathered more than one illegitimate child and had a penchant for mistresses. I wonder if confering this particular title was such a good precedent to follow...?

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